On May 15, 2014, the Michigan Senate passed a bill that would raise Michigan’s state minimum wage from its current level of $7.40 per hour to $9.20 per hour by 2017. (The current state minimum wage is twenty cents higher than the $7.20 federal minimum wage.) The bill would also increase the wages for tipped employees from $2.65 to $3.50 per hour.
The Senate-passed bill is currently being considered by the Michigan House of Representatives, and it appears likely that changes will be made by the House. If a bill increasing the minimum wage were to pass both houses, it would render moot a ballot initiative to increase the state minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.
Critics of the Senate bill fear that an increase could stifle growth by discouraging hiring. However, there is a concern among some business leaders that if the Michigan legislature does not take action to increase the minimum wage, the decision could go to the electorate in November, giving voters the opportunity to put into effect the larger increase to $10.10.
Stay tuned for future updates on this and other important legal and political issues.